Denver-based Baker, a 3-year-old startup that develops marketing software for marijuana dispensaries, today announced that it has acquired Grassworks Digital, a Seattle-based startup that also builds CRM tools for cannabis retailers.
Founded in 2016, Grassworks helps 150 marijuana dispensaries manage and track their inventory. It also recently began offering online order-ahead software for pot shops. The company’s four employees will join Baker at its new Seattle office.
“Our core product is Simple Marijuana Menu, which integrates with clients’ point of sale systems, automates inventory updates, and allows consumers to order online,” Grassworks CEO Ryan Porter told GeekWire earlier this year. “Our mission is to be at the forefront of cannabis retail technology.”
Baker, meanwhile, describes itself as the “Salesforce of pot.” The company works with more than 700 dispensaries across 16 states and Canada; it employs more than 50 people. In a statement, Baker CEO Joel Milton said the acquisition helps establish his company as “the leading CRM platform in cannabis.”
“This puts substantial space between Baker and our competition, and allows us to provide the best product in the market to our growing customer base,” he said in a statement.
The deal marks one of the first technology acquisitions in the nascent legal marijuana industry. There are a number of startups building cannabis-related software and services for growers, retailers, and more. Investors are also flocking now as medical marijuana is legal in 29 states, while recreational marijuana is legal in eight U.S. states, including California, which legalized cannabis in November and could produce a legal market worth more than $5 billion.
Bloomberg reported last year that the U.S. legal cannabis industry could grow to $50 billion within a decade.
Countries around the world are also moving forward with marijuana legalization; voters in Germany approved medical marijuana in January, while recreational use is expected to be legal in Canada next year.
But the industry is still in its early stages and some analysts say marijuana stocks are overhyped, as The Motley Fool recently noted. There are also questions about how and if the federal government will enforce any bans on marijuana.